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Eminent Domain, Zimbabwe-style

Leonard Gilroy
July 4, 2005, 9:17am

Sometimes a fictional analogy can offer a perspective on a real-life situation that traditional news and analysis can't provide. Such is the case with Ilya Shapiro's Tech Central Station piece today. He takes a CNN article on Zimbabwe's disastrous Operation Murambatsvina ("Drive Out Trash") -- an "urban renewal" effort that has left hundreds of thousands of city dwellers homeless and is widely thought to be a retaliation against the urban poor who voted against the ruling party in recent elections -- and changes the context to reflect eminent domain in the U.S., post-Kelo : Read the whole thing. Sure, it's fiction; sure, it's hyperbole. But it's still useful to keep in mind the extreme, logical ends of such demoralizing policies, if only to inspire or maintain public vigilance. On a somewhat related note, if you missed it yesterday, check out this post on the implications of property rights evisceration in the U.S. And do read the original CNN article on the Zimbabwe situation for a truly frightening glimpse of modern tyranny and oppression. Neither fiction nor history, that tragedy is happening in real-time in the twenty-first century. Only the coldest of hearts would not be outraged by this latest example of Mugabe's power-drunk despotism.

Leonard Gilroy is Director of Government Reform


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